Cyber Security. Are You Being Serious?

OK, it’s a tenuous link but hey, I like the image and I’m not apologising! (I resisted trying a pun on tenuous too!)

And we make no apologies for a further security blog this week either.

Cyber crime is still big news following the recent WannaCry attack which affected the NHS and the follow-up Petya / NotPetya attack last week.

On Thursday 06th July The East Midland Chamber of Commerce ran the East Midlands Cyber Security Conference and Expo in Nottingham. This was a full day packed with keynotes from experienced Cyber Security specialists. There were lots of practical hints and tips, along with loads of stats as to why SME’s should be taking cyber security very seriously.

However, one of the main things that struck me was the audience. Although the event was attended by some SME’s, the majority appeared to be tech-based companies, people you would consider as being from, in, and around the IT industry – in short, the people who already had a decent level of knowledge of the issues being discussed.

This is concerning for me, the people that the event was aimed at, the non-tech, average small business just didn’t seem to be there. Maybe the event title made it sound as if it was aimed at IT professionals, maybe the timings and length of the event put people off. It may well be that, amongst the many priorities that small business owners have, that cyber security is just not seen as ‘vital’.

If that’s the case then you’ve probably stopped reading!

However, if you’re still here then a) good and b) we’ll throw some stats at you;

  1. 50% of the total number of crimes committed in the UK are cyber crimes
  2. 0.01% of police resources are allocated to cyber crime
  3. 80% of cyber crimes are preventable
  4. 90% of attacks involve less than 1000 records e.g. they are small businesses
  5. 1 in 5 businesses that experienced a cyber-attack has to halt operations temporarily
  6. 70% of those fail within 1 year
  7. TalkTalk were hit with a record £400k fine after its cyber-attack, under the new GDPR that fine could have been as much as £70,000,000

If those stats don’t make you think that this is a massive issue then they should!

The good news is that the message is that the way of managing cybercrime is nothing new and you’ll be familiar with it from other elements of the business. It’s the ubiquitous risk assessment!

We can even help you identify the biggest risk – it’s your staff.

If you are one of our customers we can provide you with a firewall, antivirus, anti-malware, patching and all the other technical tools to protect you. However, the single biggest cause of cyber-attacks is human error. Remember the stat that 80% of cyber crimes are preventable? That translates to 80% of the time someone, somewhere did something wrong. This is usually clicking on a link or attachment on an email or visiting the wrong website. Very rarely is this malicious or intended, it’s simply human error often brought about by a lack of training.

Related: Forget Viruses, Be Worried About Your Staff 

We’ve previously highlighted a survey from MediaPro which concluded that only 12% of employees have high enough awareness of security threats to avoid preventable privacy or security incidents.

We are here to help

Over the next few weeks, we are going to provide you with some checklists and guides to increase awareness of good practice amongst your employees. Whilst we’ll expand on this the approach later, we think that the most effective way to educate staff is to teach them how to protect themselves online. Explaining the worth of an individual’s personal data and how they should be protecting it provides transferable life skills that everyone should have in the digital age.

Cyber security is the new locking your door, or placing items out of sight when parking your car.

Through education we can minimise risk both to the individuals that work for us and our businesses – good cyber security really is a win-win.

If you are unsure about your current cyber security arrangements we will provide a free, no obligation security assessment for your small business. Call us today on 01509 7980 704 or email